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David C Besbris

Military

David Bresbis was a Navigator in the 92nd Bomb Group/407th Bomb Squadron. He was serving in that function on B-17 #42-29965 when it ditched for lack of fuel in the English Channel on return from the 6 September 1943 to Stuttgart, Germany. All ten men on board were rescued by A French boat and returned to base. Lt Bresbis was shot down on his 16th mission, the 16 November 1943 raid to Knaben, Norway, serving as Navigator on B-17 #42-29996 'Flagship'. Evaded capture with the help of Norwegian patriots. Honorably discharged on 30 November 1946, he re-enlisted in the US Air Force on 19 January 1952 and was released from duty on 16 January 1953.

Service

People

  • Whitney Bray

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Whitney Bray enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in Canada before the United States' entry into the conflict. He trained as a Pilot at No.4 Service Flying Training School in Saskatoon, Canada before being sent to England. After a number of...

  • Arthur Carmell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Arthur Carmell enlisted in the Air Corps and followed Bombardier training as a Bombardier Cadet at the San Angelo Army Air Field, Texas, Class of 1942. After completing his training, he was sent overseas and assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group/407th Bomb...

  • Fred Champion

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Bombardier; Togglier; Waist Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Fred Champion was assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group/407th Bomb Squadron in England. He was serving as Waist Gunner on board B-17 #42-29996 on the 17 July 1943 mission to Stuttgart, with Pilot Captain Donald G. Parker. Badly damaged by enemy fighters, the...

  • Laurence Dennis

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Laurence Dennis graduated from Farmington Community High School in the class of 1938. After his enlistment in the Air Corps in September 1941, he trained as a Radio Operator at Scott Field. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group/407th...

  • John Disher

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner/Radar Controller | 100th Bomb Group
    Served as Ball Turret Gunner when shot down on 6 September 1943 in B-17 #42-29965. Plane ditched in Channel. Slighly injured in the ditching, returned to base like the other nine men on board who were rescued by a French boat. Flew a total of 25...

  • Rolland Galloway

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    After his enlistment in August 1942, Rolland Galloway followed gunnery training. Promoted to Staff Sergent, he was sent overseas and assigned as a Tail Gunner in the 92nd Bomb Group/407th Bomb Squadron in England. He was Tail Gunner on B-17 #42-29965...

  • John Geegee

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    John Geegee enlisted in the Air Corps in July 1942 and trained first at Miami Beach, and Fort Myers, Florida. He followed gunnery courses in Goldsboro and Johnson Field, South Carolina, receiving his gunner's wings at Fort Myers, Florida. He was then...

  • Charles Hartnett

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    After 4 years of High School, Charles Hartnett started working as a mail clerk in 1940. He enlisted in July 1942 and trained as an aerial gunner. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group/407th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on board B-17...

  • Frederick Prasse

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania in 1940. Received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Reserve Corps. Called to active duty, November 1940. Entered the Armored Force School at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Shortly after Pearl...

  • Dean Sommers

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    After graduation from Buffalo High School in Kansas, Dean Sommers attended Chanute Junior College. Living in 1940 in Colfax, Wilson County, Kansas, he enlisted in June 1942 in Missouri and trained as an aerial gunner. Sent overseas, he was assigned to...

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Units served with

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    Group
    The 92nd Group sometime after arrivial in the UK converted to the role of in-theater combat crew indocrination and training. For this role, the Group traded its B-17F complement and obtained the B-17E, mostly from the 97th BG which was departing for...

  • 407th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-29965

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 18 March 43; Gore 28 March 1943; Presque Isle 5 May 1943; Assigned 333BS/94BG Earls Colne 12 May 1943; Rougham 13 June 1943; transferred 407BS/92BG [PY-L] Alconbury 26 July 1943; Missing in Action Stuttgart 6 September 1943 with,...

  • 42-29996 FLAG SHIP

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 23 March 1943; Dow Field 10 April 1943; Assigned 407BS/92BG [PY-R] Alconbury 24 April 1943. Was flown by Captain Donald G. Parker on the 17 July 1943 mission to Hannover, Germany. Hit by Unteroffizier Ernst Breton of JG11, it was...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 91

    6 September 1943
    This mission was planned as massive attack of 338 B-17s on the industrial areas of Stuttgart, Germany and would be supported by a formation of 69 B-24s flying a diversion. This would be the first action from the UK for the B-24 Groups that had recently...

  • VIII Bomber Command 131

    16 November 1943
    This mission was directed at targets in Norway. It was composed of three elements. The first element was a combined force of 189 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 384BG (21); 303BG (20); 379BG (22); 351BG (20); 91BG (20); 381BG (22); 305BG ...

Associated Place

  • Alconbury

    Military site : airfield
    Alconbury had been constructed as a satellite airfield for RAF Upwood and Wyton and was used by RAF Squadrons: Nos. 15, 40 and 156. In preparation for the arrival of American heavy bombers, the base was developed in 1942 with the runways extended. When...

  • Podington

    Military site : airfield
    Built originally to accommodate two RAF bomber squadrons, the first USAAF unit to occupy the base was the 15th Bomb Squadron in September 1942. Podington was then used as a satellite for nearby Chelveston. Work to lengthen the runways, although this...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Connecticut, United States 29 March 1919
Lived in Raynham, Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States 1942
Enlisted Massachusetts, United State 24 May 1942

as a Corporal in the Air Corps

Rescued English Channel 6 September 1943

Was Navigator on board of 42-29965, which went down in the Channel for lack of fuel on return from the Stuttgart mission. All ten men on board rescued by a French boat and returned to base.

Bailed out near Sirdal, Norway 16 November 1943

bailed out of B-17 # 42-29996 on the 16 November 1943 mission to Knaben, Norway. Landed in parachute near Sirdal, Norway

Evaded capture 16 November 1943 – 15 March 1944

Landed in snow-covered mountains in Norway and was helped by Norwegian patriots, reaching Sweden by boat on 17 February 1944. Was back in England by air on 15 March 1944.

Died Manhattan Beach, California, United States 2 April 1993

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 December 2016 14:05:55 ED-BB Changes to biography and events
Sources

Added date of passing - SSDI - Social Security Death Index

Date Contributor Update
29 November 2016 10:50:40 ED-BB Changes to biography
Sources

Added number of missions in bio

Date Contributor Update
28 November 2016 15:06:06 ED-BB Changes to biography, events and person associations
Sources

added people and photo connections

Date Contributor Update
28 November 2016 11:42:34 ED-BB Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

MACR 1384
NARA WWII Enlistment records
Escape & Evasion Report E&E 453 (on-line at https://catalog.archives.gov/id/5555094 ). Its Appendix C, with more details is to be found at https://wwii-netherlands-escape-lines.com/helpers-of-allied-airmen/norwe...
92nd Bomb Group website : http://92ndma.org/miscellaneous/Newsletters/catbootfish.o88.pdf

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:07:00 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 1384 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Roll of Honor; MACR 1384, Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. I by Bishop & Hey p. 268

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